Mahershala Ali, best known up until now for playing Remy on Netflix’s House of Cards, makes his first appearance in The Hunger Games franchise as Boggs in Mockingjay Part 1.

Mahershala Ali On ‘Mockingjay’

When The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 opens, Boggs is based in District 13 and is soon assigned to protect Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who accepts the role of being the face of the revolution. In time, the two revolutionaries form a close bond that’s somewhere between father-daughter and one between allies.

“In the books he’s described as sort of a father figure for her. I think we’re able to capture this feeling of him being an ally, and an ally for all the right reasons,” Ali told uInterview exclusively. “He’s one of the people who don’t really want anything from Katniss, and I think that’s unique in comparison to her other relationships.”

Since Boggs more or less shadows Katniss as she rallies the men and women of Panem to go up against The Capitol, Ali spent much of his time on The Hunger Games set with the Academy Award-winning Lawrence. More than anything, Ali was impressed with Lawrence’s ability to switch on and off between having a laugh on set and getting into an emotional scene.

“ Even on my first day on set I saw her playing and laughing around, and then they’d call action and I’d walk in the room and she was crying,” Ali revealed. “We did the take again, laughing and joking between takes, and then I walk in the room and she’s crying. Fifteen takes later and the same thing is happening.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, which also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Elizabeth Banks, hit theaters last weekend and is currently in wise release.

Read more about:

Leave a comment


Q: Congratulations on the newest installment of The Hunger Games! Tell us where your character Boggs is at the outset of the film? -

Mahershala Ali: He’s in District 13. We first see him coming in to speak with Katniss. Later on, he is assigned to protect Katniss when the rebel forces led by District 13 decide to do these propaganda films. He’s assigned to basically protect her and be her bodyguard.

Q: So, describe to us how his relationship with Katniss evolves during the film? -

Ali: In the books, he’s described as sort of a father figure for her. I think we’re able to capture this feeling of him being an ally, and an ally for all the right reasons. He’s one of the people who don’t really want anything from Katniss, and I think that’s unique in comparison to her other relationships. Early on, what is interesting is I don’t think Boggs is all that excited about being appointed to protect her, but I think later on he really recognizes what she’s able to do and how she’s able to inspire the rest of Panem to fight against the Capitol. She is able to do it so selflessly that I think he really just ends up respecting and loving her for that.

Q: Now, of course you got to work with the great Jennifer Lawrence who plays Katniss. What was it like working with her on set? -

Ali- She was just so consistent and fun and alive and just such a joy to be around everyday. Whatever is going on her life, if she’s got issues or problems, she never brought any of that to the set. She is just all about being just an incredible team player and just a joy to be around. You would see her laugh and joke, and what I was so impressed by was that even my first day on set I saw her playing and laughing around, and then they’d call action and I’d walk in the room and she was crying. We did the take again, laughing and joking between takes, and then I walk in the room and she’s crying. Fifteen takes later and the same thing is happening. The camera is not even on her anymore; it’s on my coverage and same thing every single time. She is just absolutely amazing. She just plays a lot. I had never quite been on a set with that type of playfulness. It’s just really light. It’s not always appropriate for every film, but I think this, because of the subject matter was a little deeper and darker than the other films – I mean we spent 9/10 months together – and I think people just needed to have a good time.